On March 7, the University Outreach Council convened for a discussion on K-12 educational outreach being conducted by U-M student organizations. Representatives from MUSIC Matters and the American Chemical Society (ACS) POLY/PMSE student chapter shared their experiences about connecting with youth through various outreach programs.

MUSIC Matters is a student organization that aims to create positive social change through the power of music and the arts. Last summer, MUSIC Matters ran MOvE, the Michigan Overnight Experience program. A group of rising 10th graders attending Henry Ford Academy had an opportunity to spend an exciting night in Ann Arbor, tour campus, build friendships, and learn about the college application process from University officials and current students. The MUSIC Matters team is looking forward to running the program for the second time this summer and they will be expanding it to a 3 day program. CEO provided a Project Inspire grant to MUSIC Matters to help support MOvE and has also provided programming guidance through Project Inspire workshops and its educational outreach consulting. At MOvE, students have a chance to explore different career pathways and are encouraged to think critically and introspectively about what they want their future to look like. At the University Outreach Council meeting, representatives from MUSIC Matters had an opportunity to meet with individuals involved in outreach within the broader University community; CEO is excited about forging these connections to support MUSIC Matters’ success.

REACT (Research Education and Activities for Classroom Teachers)

The ACS POLY/PMSE student chapter is a group of graduate students studying polymer science at the College of Engineering. These students come from interdisciplinary backgrounds and share a passion for science literacy and access to education. This past summer, in partnership with CEO, the organization developed REACT (Research Education and Activities for Classroom Teachers), a one day workshop for K-12 teachers. There, teachers learned about groundbreaking research at U-M, learned how to bring that research back to their classrooms to teach students basic science concepts through hands-on experiences, and met faculty to learn more about how they can encourage students to pursue degrees in STEM. The group is excited to host REACT again this summer and hopes to incorporate additional content into the workshop. Apart from REACT, the POLY/PMSE chapter also conducts classroom demonstrations for K-12 students to encourage them to engage in hands-on science activities. These classroom visits are conducted throughout the year and at schools throughout the state.

Both MUSIC Matters and the POLY/PMSE student chapter exemplify the important role student organizations play in U-M’s educational outreach efforts and CEO is excited to continue its partnership with these organizations.